Thinley Namgay 

The vice-captain of Bhutan women’s cricket team, Anju Gurung left for Thailand yesterday to train before the first world FairBreak Invitational Women’s T20 Cricket tournament from May 1 to 15.

Six teams involving players from about 30 countries are taking part in the two-week tournament.

Anju will undergo a 10-day training session with cricketers from Thailand. She will fly to the United Arab Emirates on April 30.

The Cricket Association of Thailand has agreed to assist her in Thailand and train her at their academy.

The Bhutanese left-arm speedster is expected to feature in one of the six teams along with some of the best international women cricketers. The teams will be declared next week.

The 28-year-old will become the first Bhutanese woman cricketer to play in an international league tournament.

Anju has been part of the national team since the beginning of women’s cricket in the country. She has played both domestic and international cricket and is amongst the highest wicket-takers.

Anju is also known for her confidence in the field and can bowl at any given point in the game.

Observers say that Anju’s participation in the tournament will inspire other Bhutanese cricketers to follow in her footsteps.

Bhutan Cricket’s chief executive officer, Damber S Gurung, is optimistic that Anju would be successful in achieving the goal.

“She is a great cricketer. She is prepared, and it will become a fantastic experience for her as she will be playing against top female cricketers,” he said.

President of Bhutan Cricket Thinley Wangchuk Dorji said that to be selected itself was a big achievement and he was proud of her. “The tournament itself is very challenging, and I believe there will be players from around 30 countries.”

The president said Anju had “all the qualities” to play in the tournament and that she just needed to believe in herself and give her best.

It is also the first privately funded tournament for women’s cricket organised by FairBreak Global, with the leading healthcare group Gencor as the lead sponsor.

The tournament is a first-of-a-kind tournament approved by the International Cricket Council (ICC). ICC sanctioned competition will be conducted in collaboration with Cricket Hong Kong.